Anxiety disorders affect one in eight American children, and are often associated with depression, eating disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Supplements may help improve symptoms of anxiety and depression in children, if taken as recommended by a qualified medical professional .
Passion Flower helps relieve tension, anxiety and nerve pains. It also helps to improve mental relaxation, mild euphoria and quality sleep. Due to its gentle action, Passion Flower is suitable for children and the elderly.
There are no known side effects from taking Passion Flower.
According to “American Family Physician," a combination of Passion Flower, Valerian and St John’s Wort extracts is a safe and effective supplement to treat insomnia and also may help individuals with anxiety 1.
Bach flowers are natural preparations, another example of safe and effective supplements for children. There are thirty eight Bach flowers researched by Dr. Eduard Bach, M.D., and homeopath, which can be used as single flowers or in combination. In cases where symptoms of anxiety are pronounced, remedies like Elm and Red Chestnut should be considered. According to Dr. Bach, Elm is useful for anxiety associated with feeling unable to cope with stress. Red Chestnut may help in cases of anxiety where the child is expressing anxiety over the welfare of others.
In case depressed mood is the main concern, Agrimony, Gorse and Gentian should be considered. Agrimony works well when the child tends to hide his emotions from parents. Gentian is used when the child displays a dependent personality and for mild symptoms of depression. Gorse is indicated when there are deep feelings of hopelessness.
Bach Rescue Remedy is a combination of five Bach Flowers that is particularly helpful for anxiety and panic attacks. A study designed to assess the efficacy of Bach Flowers was done at University of Miami School of Nursing and was published in the July 2007 issue of "Medical News Today."
Homeopathic supplements use non-toxic extracts of natural substances, mostly from herbs. Homeopathic products are safe for individuals of all ages; however, a qualified homeopath should recommend these remedies in children. For depression, remedies such as Aurum, Pulsatilla and Nat-Mur have been frequently used by professionals. For anxiety, Ignatia, Metal Alb and Aconite are some of the most useful remedies.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression are sometimes different in children, compared with adult symptoms of the same conditions. Symptoms related to anxiety in children include:
- specific phobias
- refusing to go to school
- being extremely clingy
- temper tantrums
- lack of friends
- constant worries
- feelings of embarrassment
- low self-esteem
- lack of self-confidence
Symptoms related to depression in children include various physical complaints such as headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue and significant changes in weight, sleep and school performance. Children with depression tend to be more irritable, unhappy and moody rather than depressed.
In cases where symptoms of anxiety are pronounced, remedies like Elm and Red Chestnut should be considered. According to Dr. Bach, Elm is useful for anxiety associated with feeling unable to cope with stress. Gentian is used when the child displays a dependent personality and for mild symptoms of depression.
- "American Family Physician"; Valium
- "Medical News Today"; Rescue Remedy Is An Effective All-Natural Stress, Anxiety Reliever, New Study Shows
- "Herbal remedies, a Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies”; Asa Hershoff, ND,DC; 2001
- "Homeopathic Remedies, a Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders and Their Homeopathic Remedies”; Asa Hershoff, ND, DC; 2000
- Anxiety Disorders Association of America
- "BBC News-Health"; Depression symptoms in children
- "American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry"; The Anxious Child
- "The Bach Flower Remedies"; Edward Bach, M.D. and E.J. Wheeler , M.D.; 1998
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